There are quite a lot of differences with the Associate exams. This one is hard and is testing your ability to answer complex and lengthy questions in the given time (The clock was ticking fast…)
So, here are some tips that might help someone that plans to sit the AWS SA Pro exam.
Don’t spend more than 2 mins in a question. If you are not sure about the answer, flag it, forget it for the moment and move on.
180 mins might sound enough, but believe me they are not. I realized that when I saw the length and complexity of questions/answers
Try to leave some time to review any flagged questions. Remember that if you have 10 questions for review you might need 20 mins to do that.
Services to focus:
- AWS Organizations. Lots of questions, regarding OUs, SCPs, member permission, deny/allow aws services to child members.
- Kinesis – Streams vs. Firehose vs. Analytics
- KMS, Key access policies, CloudHSM
- Integration with on premise Active Directory
- AWS Directory Services options
- Aurora and Aurora Serverless
- VPC design and subneting
- ECS and Fargate (just a few questions but definitely helped me with my Pass mark)
- CI/CD, Codedeploy, Codebuild, Canary, immutable, rolling deployments
- Migrations to AWS. Know the tools like SMS, DMS
- Storage gateways (How to restore a storage gateway and use the data when you migrate servers to AWS)
- AWS RDS MySQL vs Aurora – database size, multi-AZ and multi-region capability
- Database Migration Service and Schema Conversion Tool
- Move data to S3. When is best to use CLI, Snowball, Snowball Edge etc. Focus on the time required vs Data Size to move, available connection, cost etc. Use DX or ISP connection?
- Encryption. EBS and S3
- Cloudfront. Certs, HTTPS etc
- ALB and NLB. Know the differences and when is best to use each
- As I mentioned, the questions are complex (and same applies to some answers).
- Not sure what the answer is, mark it for review and move on. Don’t spend 10 mins on it.
- Look for the magic words that are hidden somewhere in the text. Things like cost, reliability, durability, high availability etc.
- Don’t panic and try to keep cool.
- Eliminate the wrong choices with certain keywords. Questions will almost always have one or two options that are definitely not the answer. If you can get rid of these right off the bat, your odds of selecting the right one will improve.
- Know which service AWS recommends for what, meaning like Kinesis streams can be used for log ingestion and analytics etc
- Know the limitations on each service, they are very important to eradicate some answers for a given question.
- Questions sometimes doesn’t mention any performance wise or cost wise, just says, what the best option is. At least couple of answers can be doable, so to eliminate stick with AWS recommendations.
- The big key to the SA Pro isn’t only about technical knowledge, rather the aspect of time management and knowing what the question is truly asking for. If the question only asks for the most cost effective solution, that could probably mean we are not looking for high availability. Make sure you read and understand the question before looking at the answers. In regards to the answers, many can be almost as long as the question. Quickly skim the answers to see if you can easily rule out two.
- Practice tests are an extremely important study tool for this exam. The purpose of these practice tests is for you to get used to the types of questions/answers as well as the length and format of the exam.
Useful Study/Exam Prep material:
400+ Questions for AWS Solutions Architect Professional Certification Exam | Free Access to Labs